Review: Mountain Dew Distortion

This summer we’re being presented with 3 new Mountain Dew flavors as part of the DEWmocracy 2 campaign, with a vote associated to determine which of the 3 will become a permanent flavor. In the last DEWmocracy vote (Summer 2008), Mountain Dew Voltage prevailed over Mountain Dew Supernova and Mountain Dew Revolution. If you are curious about how the 2010 iteration of this campaign works, take a look at our overview of DEWmocracy 2 for all the details. We’ll be looking at each of these flavors in our reviews, and first up is Mountain Dew Distortion, followed by Mountain Dew White Out and Mountain Dew Typhoon.

The first thing you’ll notice about this drink is that it’s green. Now, granted, Mountain Dew is normally green, so this isn’t completely off-the-wall, though I think the hue is a bit more neon in nature. The drink itself is described on the label as a “Lime Blasted Dew”. So apparently we have a citrus-flavored beverage… with more of an emphasis on one of the citrus flavors.

The label design is primarily black, which provides good contrast against the green drink color. Of course, it uses the ridiculous “Mtn Dew” respelling of the brand on the label, which sits above the name “Distortion”, spelled out in a light green font on a green “swoosh” of a background plate.

The bottom of the label attempts to portray a seemingly green “river” of sorts, and it also appears that there is a green lightsaber-like element sitting behind the “Mtn Dew” logo. I’m not quite sure what that’s about, but I’m sure it’s something that we’ll be told has something to do with creating “distortion”. A note on the bottom of the label mentions “Design by Dew fan: Ben Stone.” The plastic 20 oz. bottle we reviewed was clear, with a standard PepsiCo imprinted “swirl” pattern on the upper half.

The top of the label features a silver “band” with stars encouraging you to “Choose the Next Dew” and to “Try All 3 and Vote at”. Also new this time around is a callout to use text messaging to cast your vote. Specifically, a white message area on the label notes you can “Vote for Mtn Dew Distortion at or call 1-888-292-9418 or text 231 to MTDEW (68339). Standard rates may apply.”

The text number 231 is significant because it’s the code assigned to the beverage during the early stages of the DEWmocracy process before the drink had a color or name.

As for the drink itself, when you crack open a bottle, you are greeted with a Sprite-like lemon/lime scent that still harkens back to classic Dew, but harsher in a synthetic lime flavor sort of way. The texture is also in-line with what is typically considered Mountain Dew. The taste is reminiscent of Green River, to be honest. It’s a very fake, syrupy flavor that probably can best be described as melted lime Jell-O that just happens to be carbonated… and I’m not sure that’s a good thing. It’s basically taking one element of Mountain Dew’s flavor scheme and amping it up to the extreme. While that might be an interesting idea, as a sustainable beverage on the market, I would imagine that niche is extremely narrow… unless there’s a strong market for beverages that also happen to taste like cleaning products. Not to mention that, frankly, it doesn’t taste very good.

Mtn Dew Distortion packs 290 calories in a 20 oz. bottle, with 105 mg of sodium and 76 g of carbs — all of which are sugars. It contains 4.55 mg/oz. of caffeine, which is the same as the previous DEWmocracy flavors, however those also included ginseng for extra punch. It’s on par with original Mountain Dew which has 4.5 mg/oz. In contrast, the two Mountain Dew Game Fuel flavors from Summer 2009 (Horde Red, Alliance Blue) contained 6.0 mg/oz of caffeine.

What else is inside? Here’s the ingredient list:

Mountain Dew Distortion
Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, natural and artificial flavor, sodium benzoate (preserves freshness), caffeine, sodium citrate, gum arabic, calcium disodium EDTA (to protect flavor), brominated vegetable oil, Yello 5, Blue 1

Overall, of the three DEWmocracy 2 flavors, Mountain Dew Distortion would seem to be the weakest entry, in our opinion… and wouldn’t even stand up to the two losing flavors from the first DEWmocracy, Mountain Dew Supernova and Mountain Dew Revolution. The lime flavor is too fake and not very pleasant. It’s not exactly something I’d desire to grab a bottle of repeatedly. Beyond the flavor appeal, it does not seem to be a version that would have wide commercial acceptance. How many other successful lime drinks are on the market today?